When given the opportunity, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospects gave their fans a reason to feel optimistic about the franchise’s future.
With a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings tonight, Columbus’ prospects have won the Traverse City Tournament for the second straight year. Oliver Bjorkstrand was credited with the game-winning goal.
Bjorkstrand, along with linemates TJ Tynan and Kerby Rychel have been very effective throughout the tournament and that continued tonight even beyond the deciding marker. That has to be encouraging for the Blue Jackets as they are three of the team’s top forward prospects.
In the short-term, all three of them will have a difficult time securing a spot on the Blue Jackets’ opening game roster, although Rychel in particular can’t be overlooked. He already made his NHL debut last season with three assists in five contests and was also solid as an AHL rookie.
Columbus has now won this tournament four times, which puts it in a tie with St. Louis Blues over the event’s 17-year history.
By contrast Detroit has earn a single championship (2013), but Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill saw value in the franchise’s youngsters reaching the final game.
“That means that your scouting staff has done an amazing job and that year after year, you seem to be able to put a team together that is highly competitive up there,” Blashill told MLive.com. “That bodes well for us not only in the future, but as I talked about a second ago, right now.”